Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Preparing for a Wall of Shame

Every day, I receive over 1000 legitimate, business-related emails.   I've written about my email triage techniques  and the notion of handling each email only once.

Over the past few months, the number of "business spam" emails has increased significantly.   Whether its the economy, the death of paper-based advertising, or availability of bulk email newsletter creation applications in the cloud, it's getting overwhelming - about 500 unwanted, but vendor related emails per day.

Business spam is hard to filter since it represents professional communication from some of the largest technology companies on the planet.  I purchase products from many of these companies.  However, I do not want to receive any business spam from anyone.

I have never purchased a product based on business spam.   In fact, the more business spam I receive, the less likely I will purchase products from advertisers filling my inbox.

I've spent the past two weeks unsubscribing from every newsletter, every mailing list, and every advertising campaign.    It's challenging because companies send their advertising content to multiple variations of my email address - jhalamka, john.halamka, john_halamka at multiple variations of my domains, requiring me to unsubscribe more than 5 times in some cases.

Even more irritating are the unsubscribe functions that do not enable one click unsubscribe and require that type in your email address - how do I know what variation of my email address they used?

After a few weeks of unsubscribing as fast as I can, I'll post a list of those companies that are causing me to click delete so many times per day that I'm getting a repetitive stress injury.

I have never opted in to any business spam, so some of these companies have sunk to new lows with fine print such as  "we're sending you this email and unless you unsubscribe, you've opted in to our future email".   Even unsubscribing does not work because you are often opting out of a single marketing campaign and not all future communications.

The best I can do is create my own blacklist of these companies.   Coming soon, the Geekdoctor Business Spam Wall of Shame!


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